Friday, December 26, 2008

The Long Holiday Post

I've got so much to catch up on... let's see... IN THE PAST WEEK we've been to the Steelers v. Titan's game (sorry, Steelers... we were rooting for you), shopping, a limo ride to see the lights around town, Jack Daniel's making place, honkey-tonking, Christmas Eve-ing, and Christmasing. We've had in laws in town all week and we had a blast! Seriously, so much good food, good humor, well-planned events - all made even more fun by Lee's home brew family togetherness.

The kids were blessed by Santa and have been playing non-stop for the past 2 days. My mother, her husband and my grandmother also were here Christmas Day - making it even more complete.

I'm posting some pictures now. Thanks to Zia for actually carrying a camera around and giving me copies. For any family reading - THANK YOU for traveling, being here and helping make this one of the best Christmases ever. And Happy Holidays to all of our other friends and family who we didn't get to see in person.

Zia and Little Bitty ~ Christmas Time Love
Most of our Motley Crew in the Holiday Lights Tour Limo

The Cuz and her hubby ~ their first time to Nashville and they did it up right.
Nonno ready to cheer on the Steelers!
The kids love some Zia and Uncle Pete!
Brother is all smiles after opening his Millennium Falcon
Little Bitty cookin' up some Christmas breakfast
The kids are ready to eat and not in the mood for more pics

Two handsome Italians preparing our Christmas Eve dinner

The girls out honkey-tonking

And that (in a nutshell) was the Team T holiday of 2008. Perfect.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A quicky

  • The kids are doing better. Brother and I are headed to a birthday party this afternoon. Just the two of us.
  • Little Bitty continues to do the opposite of what I say ~ but she's doing it with a smile today.
  • Today was a snow day - sans the snow. Gotta love the South. Or not... ;)
  • Have I mentioned we're potty training? This mainly means that I get a prize each from Little Bitty each time I use the potty.
  • We got new floors in the bottom half of our house. As long as I don't think about the (eventual - no interest for a year! whoohoo!) cost of them - I really like them!
  • We're about to go outside and play in the non-snow. Which really is much better than the conference call I had scheduled.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The art of juggling

Every once in a while I feel like all my parenting skills have gone down the drain and that my kids are two odd little creatures who probably need some sort of psychological intervention. Some days it all seems overwhelming and I don't know how people do it right... well, and many don't do it right - that's what scares me. What if I'm one of the ones messing up my kids?!

It donned on me over the last couple of days that I haven't spent enough one on one time with Brother lately. Well, it more accurately smacked me in the forehead due to some of his behaviors and things he said. And then as I'm feeling guilty about this and trying to make a plan to focus a little more on him - Little Bitty starts acting out like some sort of temperamental little tyrant. She's perfectly sweet and pleasant as long as everything is going exactly how SHE wants it. Are you singing a little too loud? Look out - you're gonna get hit. Is it not her day to open the advent calendar? God help us. Did you give her the light orange lion sippy cup instead of the dark orange lion sippy cup? Watch for a full on meltdown. She can't have chocolate for dinner? Well, family dinner may be ruined due to her crying.

So - the challenge is how do you successfully give your little guy the attention he needs for just being a good little guy - while also giving your little girl the attention she needs to help her learn that this two-year-old behavior, while age appropriate, is not going to be acceptable long term? It's a constant balancing act and while I do believe that I do it pretty well most of the time... some days it all just crashes down on my head. And on those days I just hope that "pretty well most of the time" is good enough.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Let's get this party started...

We're home from our Florida trip. It was great - I am so lucky to have such a flexible job. I worked while Brother and Little Bitty played with Grammy and Zia. We also shopped, saw manatees, played with the obscene amount of toys that my in laws have, went to an upside down Wonder House place with a magic show (the kids both LOVED this and it was fun for adults), and my husband and I got a couple days alone at the conference hotel. All in all a great trip and well worth the 12 hour (each way) drive. Our kids really are great travelers - I guess they have to be considering the amount we haul them around the country.

Quotes from the trip:
  • Oh dear... now I can't find Obiwonkanobi's (yea, no idea how to spell that) head.
  • Me toot on your head.
  • Do you think Santa knows the difference between a storm trooper and a clone warrior?
  • Santa scare me.
  • I miss Daddy. He's my best friend.
  • No, get your own.
  • I don't want to leave until I get a good look at the manatee's tail.


The next two weeks shall be spent preparing for many family visitors coming for Christmas. I'm excited to do up the decorating and have visions of a Martha Stewart-esque holiday assortment of goodies placed around the house, both edible and just decorative- all handmade by me. In reality, I'll be lucky to have the laundry done and enough vodka diet coke in the house for everyone. But, it will be fun.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Two of my things that I'm most thankful for...even if they scream when I don't cut their cheese and bologna the right way.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving and an Etsy Sale!

Hello! I hope everyone had a great celebration of Thanks with their family and friends! I know we did - and ours is still going strong. The kids and I are with my mother in-law in Florida and are heading to the beach for a couple days. My sister in-law is joining us too! The grown up guys are together in the cold somewhere having some manly bonding time. I'm so glad to be a woman.


As you start your holiday shopping, please note that I will give my blog readers FREE shipping on any purchases at my Etsy shop between now and December 10th. Just send me an Etsy convo before purchasing and tell me you are a blog reader. I'll do a reserved listing for you of whatever you'd like with no shipping cost. Thanks! ;)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Back home on the range

All is well here. My guys and girl did fine without me this week... of course... but I think they were happy to have me return. I know I was. Working nights is not all it's cracked up to be (I know, no one cracks it up to be good - but it's even less appealing than I thought it would be). I spent a few days supporting the transition from paper documentation to electronic in a level three NICU. This means a bunch of tiny, sick babies and very intense nurses who (rightly so) were very nervous about the transition. All in all, everything went great. But, it's a stressful environment and I'm happy to return to working remotely where I can answer questions via phone and email while in the buff my sweats. And can hide from physicians.

On the home front - the kids continue to get closer and closer to outsmarting me. Brother spent the day building things with hammer and nails, creating race tracks with multiple loops and watching the third Harry Potter movie - which I'm pretty sure I wouldn't "get" even if I paid closer attention. He's also jumped full on the Bakugan wagon and amazes me with his understanding of the point systems and memorization of all their names. Fear Ripper, Diablo, Dragonoid... who can keep that straight? All I know is I was almost that woman on the local news in Charlotte this week when I went to Wal.Mart to try to buy him one as a surprise and the lady who arrived to the aisle seconds before me had taken them ALL off the hanging pegs and put them in her cart. She had twenty or thirty packages of them for her ONE child. Two other moms and I were able to pry a few away from her. Not physically... but I might have gone that route if needed.

As far as the Little Bitty - well, she is speaking in full sentences more often that not and has started telling me repeatedly the Daddy is her "best friend". I really find it completely endearing and don't have any jealousy over this. In fact, I firmly believe that if Daddy stays her best friend through high school - and even college - we will have a pretty smooth run through those teenage years. Just think... "Hey, you coming to that big party after the game?"... "Sure, just let me swing by and pick up my best friend - Daddy." Or - "Hey - do you want come to my Fraternity dance with me?"... "Sure, but my best friend, Daddy, is in town - do you mind if he comes too?"

One other tidbit that I don't want to forget is the fact that as I lay listening to her sing along to our nightly prayers, I realized that instead of the traditional prayer closing of "Amen"(in our little song it is a drawn out "aaahhhh mennn") she sings "Ohhhh Mannnnn". How cute is that? I kind of want to change the words so that we can always sing it that way.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A glimpse of home

I'm out of town for work this week. Boo. It is way harder on me than it is the kids. In fact, I just talked to them and they were playing play dough with Daddy and sounded great. But - I miss them ALL very much. Here are a few random recent pictures that I hadn't posted before.

Little Bitty smiling proudly after finally finishing her paint job on her sailboat
Playing in the packing worms from a Halloween gift from Grammy.

Standing in the doorway before school. Note Brother's big stick... he's been rotating decorative buttons which he glues on top. After a day - a new button "gets a turn" to be on top. He feels sad for the buttons that aren't chosen to be on top. Yet - it's a happy game because he gets to use his pocket knife tools to pry the old button off each day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our Weekend Hike

We went hiking last weekend ~ it was beautiful. We stopped for a couple quick photo opps.

Little Bitty is acting shy because it was someone we didn't know taking the picture.
My happy girl! She RAN most of the way, turning around every few feet to shout "Me beat you, Mommy! Me beat you, Daddy! Me beat you, Bruh-Bruh!"

Our pensive boy. I'm not sure what he's thinking about here... it could be that he's pondering the long-term benefits of the recent election... or he may just be hoping we go home soon so that he can play with his whoopee cushion.

Friday, November 7, 2008

They continue to suprise me...

A couple of days ago the kids were taking a bath and Brother was babbling on and on to/about/at one of the bath toys. Just silly chatter (anyone who has had a four or five year old probably knows what I mean), just making noise. Just as I was about annoyed with it, I heard Little Bitty turn to him and shout, "CHILL OUW, BruhBruh!" (translation: Chill Out, Brother)

So funny coming from this tiny little girl who surprises us with new phrases everyday. I would like to pretend that she learned that one at school... but I would be pretending.


What else has surprised me lately? Well, my husband using my cucumber facial cleansing wipes to assist in changing a dirty diaper yesterday was completely absurd surprising to me also. But, hey -I think Little Bitty's bum was probably alert and rejuvenated all day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Yes We Did"

In the spirit of this blog being something that I want my children to be able to read when they are older - I can't let this day go by without remarking on the results of our presidential election last night. The problem is that my emotions and the importance of this definitely exceed my writing ability. I can't do it justice. So -

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where any things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive ... who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer..."

"...This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America"

President Elect Barack Obama
Presidential Victory Speech
November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tasha, Spiderman and a whole bunch of pirates...

We had a fabulous weekend. The kids partied non-stop for three days starting at school on Friday with their Halloween parties. The weekend progressed through trick-or-treating, soccer game, soccer party, and the birthday bash for Brother yesterday. Yes - he's five now. And I'm so proud of him. He's such a great little dude and if someone had asked me what I'd like my son to be like... I don't think I could have ever imagined or described a kid this great.

On to the pics!

The Birthday Boy - on Friday as Spiderman


Little Bitty checking out her Tasha costume

Waiting patiently in class for her party to begin.

The calm before the storm (pirate theme party - this was our home-made plank and sea of balloons, certain balloons had treasure maps hidden inside for the treasure hunt)
The storm!
Treasure Maps in hand - we headed outside.
Brother (Red Sox hat) passing out some treasure.
I think this look might be "do I really have to eat more sugar?"
Presents! Look at Little Bitty's face... sad that it's not for her.

And on a separate note - to the person whole stole not only our Obama sign, but the others on my street the other night - Thank You. What you accomplished by this juvenile and cowardly act was another donation to the Obama campaign. I went less than 12 hours later to replace not just ours, but the others on our street. Through this, I met some great women at the campaign office, bonded with my neighbors and reinforced my confidence that I placed my vote for the right people. I hope that your act of trespassing and burglary resulting in no Obama signs on my rural neighborhood street for a few hours in the middle of the night left you feeling just as good. Way to do your part.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Not to toot my own horn...

but not only did I make a full Tasha costume yesterday... I put the icing on a toaster strudel in the shape of "a birthday boy holding a cake and wearing a birthday crown". And yes, the cake had five candles. He checked.

My resume keeps getting better and better.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Small talk in line at the Wal-M*rt

"Well, the media just makes it worse. That CNN on TV... they show these maps that say McCain has these states over here... but then they say that that Bahama... he has all these other ones over there. You just don't know what to believe."

And... small talk done. I stare straight ahead and focus on my pirate party decorations.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Costumes and parties

Back from a weekend at Mum's house. It was a great time. Both my sisters and their families were there and we celebrated the upcoming birthday trio birthdays (Brother and one niece on 11/3 and the other niece on 11/5) - and had a costume party - and a potato launching contest. What? You don't do that at your parties?

I'm not sure how Halloween is going to go this year. Little Bitty is not crazy about her costume, even though she picked it out. After much bribing begging she let me put it on her at my mom's, but then quickly declared "all done" and began pulling it off. My only hope is that once we leave the house and she's getting candy shoved at her on Friday - she'll forget that she doesn't like what she's wearing. It is a funny change from Brother - who lived in a costume from about 18 months until 4. Even now - the kid loves a good costume... it's just a little more sporadic than before. Some of you may remember that he went to his preschool open house last fall dressed in full knights armor.

We're gearing up for Brother's birthday party this weekend. And when I say "gearing up" - I really just mean thinking about it but not doing anything to prepare until payday at the end of the week. But, it is just a few friends and how hard can it be to throw together a pirate treasure hunt?!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

7 interesting things about me...

I don't think I've ever been "tagged" before on my blog. But, now I have... by this fun friend. So - I will join in the fun. Here are 7 random interesting things about me.

1. I love to travel... but dislike flying - and driving for that matter... not crazy about the idea of being on a ship either.

2. I have lived in 8 different states and three different countries.

3. I will eat almost anything.

4. I have a pretty great job that let's me work from home, use my brain and pays me well. But, I don't really like it. I'm good at it but I don't think it is what I am "meant" to be doing.

5. I sometimes struggle with anxiety/obsessing/worrying... and also feel that I have a little ADD - so that means I spend time obsessing about the fact that I can't focus. (do you see the humor here?)

6. I have really vivid dreams every night. Some of them play out like a detailed movie script with foreshadowing, etc. They are really interesting and I remember almost all of them.

7.. I can't help it... I really do think my kids and husband are the best ones in the world.

I'm supposed to tag 7 more people... but don't know if I have 7 blogs that haven't done this lately... so I'm just tagging one friend who I've never seen participate in one of these: Kim. ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Anyone with kids in our area makes an annual trip to this pumpkin farm. It really is fun - and we don't even go on the hayride (which by the way is something I love to do).

Whheeee! We've gotta get one of these at home.
Look how happy I am...if I had known the faces my two kids were making, I may have had a different expression.

Oops, sorry honey. Didn't realize you were in there.

I think Little Bitty loves the pumpkin patch as much as we do.

As does Brother.

2nd Annual Papa's Sailing Camp 2008

Here is a recap of our past weekend in pictures. I know, there doesn't seem to be any pictures of sailing. Well, if you weren't there - you'll never know if we did any or not.

A question for you mothers out there...

Hey - Just a quick post to focus on my little biz for a second. If you haven't checked out my Etsy postings in awhile... I would love it if you would! This is not a request to buy something... just a request for you to view what I have listed and then comment below with a suggestion of something you think would be cool to see in my shop.

I have a lot of ideas swirling in my head but before I jump in - I'd love to hear from other moms out there. I can do girl and boy stuff. My business is slow right now, so it is actually the prefect time for me to get some new items added and then market for the holidays.

Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Campaign Volunteer

It was an uncharacteristically hot October day in Indiana. The 63 year old campaign volunteer found himself in very rural area this particular day. He was going door to door encouraging people to register to vote. His nearly 8 hour day had resulted in just a few new voters. However, he considered this a success. Every vote counts.

The knocks on the screen doors of the manufactured housing park were often unanswered or else met with resistance when he introduced himself and asked if he could talk to them about registering to vote. One particular knock, however, was met with a gruff voice shouting "come on in!" The Volunteer opened the door and entered the dark room. He could see the top of a man's head sitting in a recliner with his back to the door. The Volunteer cheerfully introduced himself and asked if the man was registered to vote. The man swiveled his chair around and stared at the Volunteer. His large size, bald head and multiple piercings were not completely surprising but his response was. "I can't vote" he replied simply. "Oh - why is that?" asked the Volunteer. "I'm a convicted felon" the man said. "Well, I'm sorry to hear that, " the Volunteer responded, "thanks for your time."

Undeterred, the Volunteer completed a few more stops and then drove the 15 miles or so back into town to be sure he got the few new registrations in on time - as this was the last day to register. Back at the campaign headquarters the Volunteer turned in his registrations.

At a stop for coffee afterwards, the Volunteer pulled out his phone to do a little research. He wasn't actually sure about the laws regarding felons and voting. As it turns out, convicted felons are allowed to vote under certain circumstances in this state. The Volunteer left his coffee and hurried to his car.

About a half an hour later, the Volunteer was again knocking on a screen door. "Come on in" yelled the familiar gruff voice. "Good news!" the Volunteer exclaimed as he entered the man's home for the second time that day.


This story is not about politics. This one vote is most likely not going to turn this traditionally Red state Blue. The Volunteer did not even know the man's political persuasion as he drove the miles back out to the rural housing development. This is about finding something you believe in. It's about being passionate and doing your part. It's about perseverance. It's about not judging others. It's about having Hope. It's about giving people a second chance. It's about treating people with respect. It's about realizing that most people are not all good - and not all bad.

It's about living your life in a way that makes your children respect you, even when you're 63 and they're grown adults. It's about paying attention and learning from your parents - even when you're a grown adult and they're 63. I just did.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I still love them but...

Little Bitty cried and wanted to go downstairs pretty much all night. I have no idea what it was about. Two year molars? Hungry? Just not tired? Needs a new mattress? I caved at around 4am and we spent the rest of the night/morning on the couch. Noggin was turned on around 5am. I was worried she was sick - but she was her normal feisty adorable self this morning. Good times.

And Brother... Brother is developing a little attitude that I thought wouldn't come until the pre-teen years. As in, "Mommy, why do you wear those moccasins EVERY day now?" or "Mommy, I know this is your favorite part of the song - you've told me 10,000 times!"

It all comes with the territory of parenting. I like to see them try out their little attitudes and show assertiveness. But- for the record - I've only worn the moccasins twice. And anyway, they're awesome.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Gone Fishin'

First off - the Race was awesome. We had a great run and a gorgeous day. I love the overall feeling at the race - thousands of people together to support a common cause. It's very inspiring and gives one hope that the world is mostly good.

Next, some pictures of our family fishing outing Friday night. It seems that from fishing to soccer to baseball, etc. Brother is picking up his father's athletic (fishing is a sport, correct?) ability. Little Bitty is a bit more like me - she likes the atmosphere of it all - but would really rather stand around and drink.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Race for the Cure

My husband and I are running the Race for the Cure on Saturday. If you are able to donate to the cause - please go here to do so. Thank you!

On a personal note - I ran the Race for the Cure for the first time almost exactly 9 years ago to the day - it was October 2, 1999 in Charlotte, NC. It was one of my best days ever. I ran with a couple of friends, then went out to lunch and shopping at an outlet mall. The race was awesome, the friends were a lot of fun and - who doesn't like lunch and shopping?! THEN - I went out that night to see a Live (any other fans?) concert with a very hot guy (and some other people). It was kind of a group thing - but in my mind it was a date ( you know, the whole positive thinking/Law of Attraction thing). That night we (minus the other people) stayed up until 4am talking, laughing... and I think there was hot-tubbing involved. Not the sleazy kind.

Now, here I am - in a different city, the same weekend, 9 years later - and I'm going to spend the night with the same hot guy and our two beautiful children. We may not stay up until 4am or do any hot-tubbing...but it will be one of my best days ever - again.

Monday, September 29, 2008

On naptime

Brother: Mommy, can I keep my Harry Potter blanket forever?

Mommy: Yes.

Brother: Well...I'll at least keep it as long as I still have rest time at school.

Mommy: Ok - good plan.


Brother: Mommy, do they still have rest time at college?

Friday, September 26, 2008

On your birthday...

would you rather:

A) Meet a bunch of friends out at a bar and do some shots or

B) Go out to dinner with a bunch of friends and drink some wine or

C) Stay at home with your husband and kids, eat popcorn and watch the presidential debate?

If you answer C - congratulations - you are likely part of the 36 and over demographic group. Party on.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A great weekend and a normal week...

Team T has been busy. The kids spent last weekend with Mum and PapaBob while we (the parental half of Team T) went to Boston. We had a lot of fun - attended a beautiful wedding, a Chinese banquet, spent the night and a day in Newport, RI, got to hang with great friends and slept until 11:20am one day (no hangovers even involved, just good sleep). NICE.

The kids seemed to have just as much fun as we did. They designed and painted their own t-shirts, picked our pumpkins (or as Little Bitty calls them, 'punkmums'), planted flowers, and were spoiled by three grandparents for a few days.

This week has flown by as I try to catch up on work, cleaning, sewing and exercise. Note - this stuff takes place between 8:30 - 4:30... after that it's family time. Family is one thing I try not to get behind on. ;) I am feeling a little blah... not sure if it is my impending birthday (which I really don't think it is... but perhaps 36 just feels this way. I don't know...I've never been 36 before) or if I just need to get my booty in gear and get all some a few of the things on my to-do list checked off. Whatever. Speaking of birthdays, my grandma turned 93 yesterday. I'm sure that feels even older than 36 - AND - I pray I am fortunate enough to experience it some day and be as with it as she is.

Here are a few pictures bound to make anyone smile...

Little Bitty's current favorite thing to do outside is to line all the toys up on the sidewalk.
A little odd, no?
Don't you just want to kiss that little face?! You have to be quick though - she's a little stingy with kisses lately.
Awww, the one picture of us together from our weekend.